Thursday, April 15, 2010
Dominion Diving's Big Steel steams down harbour this evening on her way to pier 33. In the background is Atlantic Towing's Woodside base, with Atlantic Larch, Atlantic Oak and Atlantic Spruce tied up for the evening.
Big Steel is a multipurpose vessel, used as a tug, diving tender, lineboat and general utility vessel. As a tug she often handles water and supply barges for tankers berthed at Imperial Oil.
Built for the RCN as YFU 116 / YMU 116 she was built for this role (the YU designation means Yard Utility vessel) She was one of two vessels of this type - the other was YFU 117 / YMU 117.
They were built by the famed Russel Bros of Owen Sound, ON in 1955, and worked in Halifax or Sydney (Point Edward) or Shelburne as needed.
Once acquired by Dominion Diving in the 1980s, she was modified, then in 1992 her wheelhouse was rebuilt.
Sister tug YFU 117 (photo taken 1994) is now owned by Indian Head Towing Ltd of Troy, NS.